Babel Stories II
By Jim V.
By far, the most difficult, painful and agonizing part of breaking away from the bondage of the Bible and religion is our own internal superstitious fear. Fear that can border on, or even include, sheer terror. The mere thought of the Bible not being the absolute word of God can create cold sweats, disorientation, depression and an icy knot of fear that cannot be described.
Millions of people are not capable of even questioning the Bible; religion, God or the existence of a man named Jesus Christ. The resistance to even question the Bible or religion is the loudest warning bell, and the brightest red flag. The inability to even question any philosophy or belief, religious or otherwise, is what we know as common, everyday, garden variety "brainwashing." Didn't the God of the Bible himself say, "Prove me?"
If you met someone who was absolutely convinced that 2 + 2 was 3, and no amount of proof, education or documentation could change their mind -would you think of that person as being "enlightened" or "spiritually astute?" And what if that person said you are committing blasphemy against an almighty God if you denied it, would you think of that person as having "special understanding?" Then what if that person commanded you in the name of his God to give tithes and offerings so this great truth could save mankind?
Now, what if this person had a "book," and in his book it was clearly stated that 2 + 2 does in fact equal 3? Would you believe the book? Would you quit your job, sell your home and clean out your bank account so this great "revelation" could be given to all of mankind? Or would you instantly realize that this person was unplugged from reality and had serious problems? If over a billion other people believed it, would that make it true? Was the world flat because that's what religion said?
Furthermore, what if this "book" claimed that a great almighty God provided his own impregnating seed so that a second God could become human, but the actual impregnation was carried out by a third God (Holy Spirit) and this third God used the seed of the first God to (somehow) impregnate a young virgin girl without her consent or knowledge in order to bring about the human birth of the second God? And what if this story was used to teach morals, chastity, righteousness and family values to the whole world? (Not to mention the question of where was a mature consisting mother in this "family affair"?)
Now on top of everything else, nothing written in this persons "little book" can be proven outside of its own pages. Would you like to explain this story to a court of law? Is this the kind of logic an almighty, all wise God would use? Are the stories in the Bible the actions and thoughts of a superhuman, supreme being -or just the actions and thoughts of depraved, blood thirsty, power hunger, murderous humans?
Is the deep fear of questioning the Bible and religion a sign of righteousness -or a display of superstitious brainwashing?
I mentioned some of the problems I have with the Bible in "Babel Stories." But the problems I have with the Bible go beyond just the irrational stories themselves. It's the total lack of logic, the total lack of answers and the complete absence of any knowledge whatsoever that is remotely "superhuman intelligence."
The God of the Bible invited us to "Prove Him." Let's see if the following additional problems I have with the Bible are the actions of an all-wise, all-knowing, perfect, all-powerful, supreme, righteous being -or the actions and writings of ancient, barbaric superstitious humans.
I have big problems with the stories of Elijah, Elisha and Samuel. And I personally believe that Elisha murdered Elijah...
According to the Bible, Elijah challenged 400 prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel. It was a contest to see whose sacrifice God would consume with fire. The prophets of Baal danced, chanted, cut themselves and pleaded with Baal to accept their sacrifice. It must have been quite a show. After many hours of this, the prophets of Baal finally gave up, and there was no fire. But all during this, Elijah was confidently mocking them. Elijah was taunting them with things like, maybe their God was asleep, or maybe he was relieving himself, etc. Elijah was extremely confident as to the outcome. In fact, Elijah was supremely confident... When Elijah's turn came, he commanded many barrels of sea water (that's a very interesting point) to be poured on his sacrifice. The sacrifice, alter and ground were soaked with sea water. Then Elijah said a very short prayer and his sacrifice burst into flames and was consumed by fire. Elijah then commanded the people to kill all the prophets of Baal, and being caught up in the moment of passion, the people killed all 400 Baal prophets.
But the problem was that the prophets of Baal belonged to queen Jezebel. And when she heard that Elijah had commanded her prophets to be killed, she was enraged. Jezebel then sent a message to Elijah telling him that he was as good as a dead man, and she swore that he would be dead before the sun went down.
Now here is where the logic of this story starts to unravel. A great, mighty prophet of God, who spoke to God personally, commanded fire to come down from heaven and God backed him up totally and sent fire from heaven at this prophets command. However, what was this great prophets reaction when his life was threatened by a mere mortal -a woman? (Don't forget, this was the old testament when women were considered very inferior, and had no rights.) So what did Elijah do?
Well, according to the Bible, Elijah fled -and he fled in panic and he fled in sheer terror. For some inexplicable reason, Elijah's terror of queen Jezebel was far greater than his faith in the almighty God that he had "personally" spoken to. Elijah could not trust the very God who had sent fire from heaven at Elijah's own command.
Folks, this is paranoia that borders on the sheer insane. No normal, healthy human in their right mind would fear anyone on the face of this Earth if they had direct, personal contact with God himself, and also had the authority to call fire down from heaven. No human being on Earth that possesses "real" power -has ever turned into a fleeing coward before an "inferior." Taken at face value, this Babel story makes absolutely no sense whatsoever... I have a better answer. Elijah was never a prophet. Nor was he a man who spoke personally to God. Elijah's actions were the actions of a con-man who expected Jezebel to cower before him and his fake "miracle." Elijah's actions were the actions of a con-man who knew his own miracle was fake, and he knew that if he didn't get out of there immediately, there was no God to keep him alive. Any normal person alive who had direct, personal contact with a "real" God almighty and had that kind of "real" power and authority from God -would have been knocking on Jezebel's door inviting her outside for a Godly barbecue. Anyone ever heard of "Greek Fire?" It's a chemical used by the ancient Greeks in naval combat. It's a chemical that burst into flames when it comes in contact -with sea water. Now is this story starting to make sense? Are we finally finding some answers? Elijah obtained an early form of Greek Fire, and thought he could become the chief "religious" man for the queen by having his sacrifice consumed by fire from heaven sent down by "God." And since he had her prophets killed, that left a power vacuum that he could just step in and fill. That's why Elijah was so confident on Mount Carmel, but such a coward when Jezebel didn't react like the ignorant, superstitious people that Elijah was used to dealing with. Elijah knew his life was in imminent, and immediate danger. That's why he fled in panic and terror. And that's why this Babel story finally makes sense...
Now let's talk about Elisha. Jezebel and Elijah weren't the only ones who knew that Elijah's "fire from heaven" was a fake. But Elisha knew how to obtain power, and he knew how to "take over."
To this day, the entire Christian world believes that Elijah was taken up to heaven in a fiery chariot...
Why do Christians believe this?
Because of the word and testimony of one single, sole individual -Elisha. The entire Christian world, in the year 2000, believes that Elijah was taken to heaven in a fiery chariot because one man said so -several thousand years ago. There were no other eyewitnesses to this event. All we have is Elisha's word. Doesn't the Bible say something about "two" witnesses?
Why is it that the "God of the Bible" always does such monumental acts in such secrecy? Is the God of the Bible fearful and paranoid? Is He paranoid to let people know about the leaders "He" has chosen for "His" people? Wouldn't an almighty, all-wise God who ruled the entire universe want to make sure that His people knew exactly what his decisions were? Why is it that all of "God's" decisions have to be explained by "one" man? Why is it that "one" man has to explain the laws, rules, and "will" of almighty God? Isn't God breaking his own laws when He said at the mouth of "two" witnesses, but yet all of God's will is explained by "one" witness?
Let's look at the facts about Elisha's story...
1) Elijah told everyone, publicly, that whoever ended up with his mantel would be God's chosen prophet, would speak for God, and be in total control. (Talking about setting yourself up for murder.)
2) Elijah commanded Elisha to leave him, to go away from him. But the younger and stronger Elisha refused and said he would follow Elijah no matter what.
3) Elisha followed Elijah into the desert.
4) Elijah did not return from the desert.
5) Elisha did.
6) Elisha returned from the desert wearing Elijah's mantel.
7) Elisha took over a considerable amount of power and wealth.
8) Elisha claimed that God took Elijah to heaven in a fiery chariot.
9) No one looked for Elijah's body.
10) None of this came from God -we only have Elisha's word, who was the only eyewitness, and the sole beneficiary.
It's as if Elijah took out a one hundred million dollar life insurance policy on himself, then proclaimed that whoever ended up with his mantel would get the money -and power. Considering the above miscalculation with Jezebel, Elijah was not very "street smart." Maybe he even had delusions. Maybe this man was not mentally stable.
I am not a betting man, but I will give you 1,000 to 1 that Elisha laid a rock up aside Elijah's head, and was careful not to stain the mantel.
Motive, opportunity and means -plus an insane alibi. Would you like to face a court of law as Elisha? Perhaps you would like to explain the "fiery chariot" part to a prosecuting attorney. (Don't forget to call all of your witnesses.)
Now let's talk about Samuel... Samuel the prophet had two sons that were high ranking priests. And his two sons were exceedingly corrupt. They were corrupt to the point where they didn't even try to hide it, and they had no fear. They were greedy tyrants who used their positions as priests totally for their own self interests. They did as they pleased and they openly "sold" judgments and decisions. If you stop and think about it, Samuel's two sons were literally the church, the state, and the Mafia all rolled into one. There was no power higher than the priesthood, and who could challenge Samuel's sons?
After years of this criminal activity and corruption, the people finally got fed up with it and went to Samuel to demand a king. Samuel then told the people he would have to "talk to God." Now, here's where the logic falls to pieces. According to the Bible, God's answer was a scathing, angry, condemning attack against the people. Not the corrupt priests, but the very people who were suffering from these criminal priests.
According to the Bible, God didn't condemn the priests who were responsible for the problem, God condemned the innocent, abused people. According to the Bible, God even went so far as to tell Samuel that the people weren't rejecting Samuel to rule over them -they were rejecting God Himself to rule over them. According to the Bible, the fact that average people rejected two vicious, corrupt, criminal priests that had caused an unknown amount of suffering meant that the people were actually rejecting God Himself!
Let's stop and think about that for a minute. How would "you" like to live under the authority of those two priests? If every Christian had to live under their corrupt and unjust authority, do you think they would have faith in God? Or would they demand changes? But the main point is this. Is the reaction of the God of the Bible the reaction of an all-wise supreme being? Don't forget, God Himself created the priesthood, and God ruled Israel through the priesthood. Was God incapable of providing leadership? Why didn't God correct the severe problems in the very priesthood that He personally created and commanded? If God was working through the priesthood, why didn't he do something about it? Doesn't this make God an accessory to every crime those priests committed? Where was God's personal responsibility for His own priesthood? Is the God of the Bible so irresponsible that when His personal priesthood has severe problems -He blames the people?
Again I ask, are these the actions, words and decisions of an all-wise supreme being?
Doesn't make much sense does it? Well, I have a better answer. Samuel was not a prophet and he never spoke to God in his life. Samuel used the superstitious belief in God to maintain his own power and authority. When the people came to Samuel to demand a king, Samuel did not need time to "talk to God," he needed time to gather his "own" thoughts and come up with his "own" answer. Samuel's words to the people weren't from God, they were from Samuel in a last effort to maintain his own power -and the power of his family. I wonder what benefits Samuel got from his sons. And I will say this, if the two corrupt priests had been anyone else's sons, I don't think "God" would have been so tolerant -and "God's" answer to the people would have been a lot different. That's the real reason why "God" condemned the people instead of the criminals. (It wasn't God talking -it was Samuel.) It doesn't make any sense for a supreme being to be so irresponsible with his priesthood and then condemn the people -but it makes a lot of sense for Samuel to.
Furthermore, who did God (Samuel) chose to be the king? Wasn't it a man so humble and small in his own eyes that he hid from his own coronation as king? Doesn't it make sense that Samuel would chose a man he thought he could completely control? After all, Samuel was still the one who made the final decision. And you don't even have to read between the lines in the Bible to realize there was a gigantic power struggle between Saul and Samuel that started as soon as Saul disobeyed "God." Isn't it convenient that Samuel was the only one that God "spoke to?" And isn't it convenient that God wouldn't speak to Samuel when anyone else was present. In other words, we have to take Samuel's word for it. Again I ask, would you like to explain this story to a court of law?
I have two more problems with Samuel. Who did Samuel pick to replace Saul? Was it a 17 year old shepherd boy? Did David have any knowledge or experience in "power" politics? Did David have any exposure to the subtitles of being a powerful ruler? Isn't it interesting that once again, Samuel made the final decision for "God?" David's fighting skills would give Samuel a good excuse to proclaim David as king, but wouldn't Samuel be convinced that David would be someone he could control for many years to come?
I think Samuel thought he could "get rid" of Saul and replace him with a teenage shepherd. It appears that Samuel put the full weight of his political machine behind David -which would explain why the women sang that Saul has slain his thousands and David has slain his "tens of thousands." Who told the women to sing that? It had to be rehearsed or else they all wouldn't have known the song. I also think that Saul lasted a lot longer than Samuel wanted him to.
Samuel told Saul that God had rejected Saul to be king over Israel. Then why in the world did Saul remain the king for another 15 years? Has anyone ever seen an employee who was "rejected" by the boss, and then have that employee hang around for another 15 years with full pay and benefits? This only makes sense if Samuel believed he could get rid of Saul in the near future. If you are looking for an almighty all-powerful God in this story, it doesn't make any sense whatsoever. And don't forget, this is the same God who had a man stoned to death, on that very day, for picking up sticks on the Sabbath. However, if you apply normal human politics, ambition, religious superstition and power struggles to this story -it becomes crystal clear.
Conclusion: Top religious leaders do not believe the ignorant, superstitious doctrines that they feed to their "sheep." They only use it to control their "sheep." It is the only way they can maintain their own power, and it is the only source of their wealth. After all, they don't fear a "hellfire" because they already know there isn't one.
There is a "something" God out there. There is far more to life than meets the eye. There is something about life, death and the meaning of the in-between that we do not yet know. But as long as we are shackled to the bondage of the Bible, religion and greedy "men," we will never know what it is. We have to grow beyond our internal ignorant, superstitious fears. We have to break the chains of our superstitious legends, irrationality, insanity and past.
If we are to ever to know truth -we have to emerge from our caves...
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